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Vladimir the great, Grand Prince of Muscovy: Resurrecting the Russian service state

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This article draws on the ideas of continuity theory in order to examine Russia's attempted transition and locate it in the longer duration of Russian history. The argument here begins by outlining the main features of the institutional matrix that evolved in old Muscovy, and proceeds to show how those early choices became path dependent. It presents the imperial ‘age of reform' as a project that introduced far reaching formal changes, but failed to achieve a transformation of supporting norms, and it views the Soviet order as a reversal of those formal changes, resulting in a full return to the Muscovite matrix. The Yel'tsin era is held up as yet another ‘time of troubles', to be followed, under Vladimir Putin, by a resurrection of the traditional Russian ‘service state'.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Uppsala University

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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